U.S. wheat, soybeans set for second weekly fall on economic concerns


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Chicago wheat and soybeans futures fell on Friday and were set for their second consecutive weekly slump as warnings of a creeping recession fanned worries about demand, while an improved outlook for U.S. crops also added pressure.

Ongoing talks over a safe corridor for Ukrainian grain exports trapped amid a four-month-old war also weighed on prices this week.

The most-active September wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.3% at $9.46-1/2 a bushel, as of 0619 GMT, after earlier touching its lowest since March 1 at $9.38-3/4.

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Most-traded November soybeans fell 0.8% to $14.04-1/4 a bushel, while most-active December corn dropped 0.2% to$6.54-1/4 a bushel.

“Concerns that a global economic slowdown could limit demand, and weakness in the crude oil market added to pressure on soybeans,” analysts at Zhongzhou Futures in China said in a note.

A global fall in prices and high stocks in China weighed on soymeal futures in the world’s top soybeans importer, with the most-active futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange slumping as much as 4.3% on Friday to the lowest since late-February.

As traders kept an eye on talks over a safe corridor for Ukrainian grain, Washington has sought to avert repercussions of sanctions on Russian food and fertilizer exports over its war in Ukraine.

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Russia and Ukraine account for about a quarter of global wheat and corn exports. Russia’s Black Sea port blockade has hampered Ukraine shipments, further tightening global grain supplies and pushing prices higher this year.

Washington welcomed Turkey’s involvement in brokering an agreement to get grain out of Ukraine, while Britain expressed willingness to assist with demining operations in Ukraine to move millions of tonnes of grain out of the country.

In the United States, the latest forecasts showed some much-needed rain hitting key areas of the Midwest just as the crop reaches its yield-determining pollination phase.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday will issue weekly U.S. grain and soybean export sales data.

(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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